Article

A randomized trial comparing initial HAART regimens of nelfinavir/nevirapine and ritonavir/saquinavir in combination with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors

Odense University Hospital, Odense, South Denmark, Denmark
Antiviral therapy (Impact Factor: 3.02). 12/2003; 8(6):595-602.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

A triple-class HAART regimen may be associated with a better virological effect than conventional regimens, but may also lead to toxicity and more profound resistance.
Randomized, controlled, open-label trial of 233 protease inhibitor- and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-naive HIV-infected patients allocated to a regimen of nelfinavir and nevirapine (1250/200 mg twice daily; n = 118) or ritonavir and saquinavir (400/400 mg twice daily; n = 115), both in combination with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. The primary end-point was HIV RNA < or = 20 copies/ml after 48 weeks (missing value = failure). Patients remained under follow-up also in case of switch from the randomized therapy.
At baseline, the median CD4 cell counts were 126 (range: 0-942) (nelfinavir/nevirapine) and 150 (0-642) (ritonavir/saquinavir) cells/mm3, and HIV RNA measurements 5.0 copies/ml (1.3-6.4) in both groups. A total of 102 (86%) and 101 (88%) were antiretroviral-naive. 44% discontinued randomized therapy; P = 0.13. Of these, 80 and 73% switched therapy due to adverse events; P = 0.99. At week 48, 69 and 56%, respectively, had a HIV RNA < or = 20 copies/ml; P = 0.037.
A regimen of nelfinavir/nevirapine had a favourable virological effect and tolerability over a 48-week period compared with ritonavir/saquinavir, when administered in combination with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. However, more extensive follow-up is required to determine the long-term consequences of triple class HAART regimens, including the development of broad drug resistance.

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